Monday, 15 February 2021 14:26

Rathkeale College duo takes out win

Written by  Staff Reporters
East Coast Junior Young Farmer of the Year winners Jono Harris and Alex Wyeth East Coast Junior Young Farmer of the Year winners Jono Harris and Alex Wyeth

A duo from Rathkeale College, Masterton have taken out the title for the 2021 East Coast FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year after competing for four years in a row.

Year 12 students Jono Harris, 16, and Alex Wyeth, 16, topped the points table for the regional competition.

Meanwhile, “the Crazy Chickens” from Ruahine School won the AgriKids competition.

The competitions for high school students in Teen Ag Clubs and primary school students were held at the Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds on 13 February.

They both ran alongside the East Coast FMG Young Farmer of the Year regional final.

Runner up FMG Junior Young Farmer of the Year was awarded to Thomas Fontaine and Jock Bourke, also from Rathkeale College.

Both teams have been invited to compete at the Grand Final in Christchurch in July.

Third place was taken out by Guy Von Dadelszen and Sam Parkes from Napier Boys’ High School. Von Dadelszen was also awarded FMG Junior Young Farmer competitor of the day.

Harris and Wyeth say the win was completely unexpected and they were quite surprised.

“It’s a good activity to do, it’s a good time with friends and agriculture is something we’re both passionate about,” Harris says.

Both hail from sheep and beef farms and thrived in the practical aspects of the competition which involved chainsaws and cars.

Turning their minds to the Grand Final in Christchurch in July, they will compete against 13 other teams across the country.

“We’ll put in a bit of hard work, study get some advice from teachers and all sorts and try and learn what they’re going to throw at us,” Wyeth says.

Harris says he plans to head overseas to work after finishing school while Wyeth says he has his sights set on Smedley Station and the Cadet Training Farm.

AgriKids winners Riley Finucane, 12, Georgie Hogan, 11, and Gemma Barrow, 11, say they were also surprised with their win.

AgriKids winners from left to right: Georgie Hogan, Gemma Barrow and Riley Finucane.

“I don’t think our parents could believe it either,” Finucane says.

All three had competed in the contest before, however never made it past the module phase.

The hardest part was the sack race, Hogan says.

“We kept falling out of the sack but the quiz was my favourite part,” says Finucane.

Second place AgriKids team was taken out by Chalkie Williams, Rubert Smith and Baxter Twist from Hereworth School.

A trio from Ongaonga School was awarded third, made up by Sam Lawson, Robert Merridew and Riley Dolan.

The top three teams have all been invited to the Grand Final in Christchurch in July where they will compete against 21 other teams across the country.

The Grand Final runs alongside the FMG Young Farmer of the Year contest.

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